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Starting Point

News/Business. Soledad O'Brien. Soledad O'Brien looks ahead to the days top news and events. New.

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Us 19, U.s. 10, America 10, Citi 9, Israel 9, John Boehner 8, Missouri 7, Susan Rice 7, Washington 7, Tom Ricks 6, New York 6, Arizona 6, Dearborn 5, Pennsylvania 5, Russell 5, Benghazi 5, Maryland 4, Subaru 4, Cnn 4, Chicago 4,
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  CNN    Starting Point    News/Business. Soledad O'Brien. Soledad O'Brien  
   looks ahead to the days top news and events. New.  

    November 30, 2012
    4:00 - 6:00am PST  

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laughing in the face of the white house plan, saying it's big on taxes, big on cuts. is there any hope now of a deal before these taxes shoot up? >> also this morning, dancing in the west bank? condemnation from israel and the u.s., as the u.n. general assembly now votes to recognize a palestinian state. is this the right tack for peace? >> fortune and glory. one of the winners of the record powerball jackpot is out. and the other may not be a mystery any more. >> hmm. plus battered but not broken. an exclusive look here at lady liberty after superstorm sandy. >> we have a packed show ahead. steny hoyer, harvard economics pro-presser ken rogoff. russell simmons, former presidential candidate jon huntsman and good samaritan larry deprimo. >> gave the boots to the homeless man. we're going to get the whole back story there. it is friday, november 30th. tgif. to you and you as well. "starting point" begins right
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now. your elected officials trading insults, playing the blame game here as the clock is winding down on the fiscal cliff. keep in mind time is a-wasting. in 32 days now tax rates soar, spending gets slashed. oh, and don't forget, congress, yeah, they get to take a break for the holidays in 14 days. a recipe for recession. the president is pitching a plan that calls for $1.6 trillion in tax heights and $50 billion in new infrastructure spending. he'll head to a manufacturing plant in pennsylvania to push all this. republicans aren't buying in. listen to house speaker john boehner's reaction. >> despite the claims that the president supports a balanced approach, the democrats have yet
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to get serious about real spending cuts. >> didn't take very long for democrats to hit back at speaker boehner. senate majority leader harry reid got up, a little personal. >> i don't understand his brain, so you should ask him. >> i don't understand his brain. let's go to washington this morning. wow, just when we thought they were getting closer seems like they're even farther apart this morning. >> yeah, you know, the nice talk from right after the election is all gone. one of the big sticking points is something you just mentioned which is this whole idea of taxes. republicans and democrats continue to disagree over how to raise tax revenue. should they end the bush tax cuts for the very wealthy as democrats want to do? should they close loopholes, cap deductions, raise the taxes on capital gains and dividends or some combination of all of those? there's even disagreement right now on just how much money -- how much in revenue they should be trying to raise, that $1.6
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trillion figure. republicans say it's a lot bigger than what had been being discussed prior to that. let's listen to what the majority leader harry reid had to say to try to explain the democrats' position on all this. >> ready to protect middle-class families from the fiscal cliff that they're facing by freezing the tax rates for the first $250,000 of all americans' income and letting the rates go up to the same level they were during the clinton administration. republicans know where we stand. we've said it. we've said it. we've said it so many times, the president's said the same thing. >> and senator reid is correct, the president has been talking about this idea of raising taxes for the wealthiest among us all during the campaign and even longer. now republicans say that you know there's been way too much focus on this whole tax issue or on the tax side of things. there needs to be a lot more emphasis on spending cuts. let's listen to what house speaker john boehner had to say about that.
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>> right now, all eyes are on the white house. the country doesn't need a victory lap. it needs leadership. it's time for the president, congressional democrats, to tell the american people what spending cuts they're really willing to make. >> now, republicans believe that the cuts on the table, $400 million, and so far cuts to entitlement programs like medicare, that's what's on the table from the white house. they believe that's not enough. they want to see the cuts go much further. democrats say, hey, you asked for cuts you want to see. here are some, why don't you give us a number, as well. so that's where we stand right now. i've got to tell you that you've got to believe that some of this is posturing. you know, part of the message war. it's not uncommon to see these deals seem to fall apart before they get put all back together again. certainly time is running out. >> time is awasting here. you mentioned john boehner criticized the president for what he called a victory lap. the president is launching a road show today. he's going to pennsylvania to make his case for his version of
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resolving the fiscal cliff. what does he intend to say and how does he intend to sell it? >> he's going to pennsylvania, a toymaker to try to drive home this idea of pushing for cuts for the middle class. there's already a senate tax bill that would preserve the tax cuts for the middle-class, something that he believes everyone agrees on. certainly republicans agree that taxes on middle-class shouldn't go up either. they just don't want to see them go up on anyone. he's visiting a toymaker that he says relies on middle-class families, who could be hit hard by a tax break. i suspect we'll hear a lot of the same language we've been hearing from him on the campaign trail. >> all right athena, thank you so much. going to a toy factory, the fiscal cliff debate, could steal christmas pretty obvious there. the white house releasing this photo of mitt romney and president obama shaking hands during yesterday's private lunch meeting. >> so there was a photo after all. >> released and taken by the white house. the former rivals promised to
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stay in touch after spending an hour discussing ideas for keeping america competitive. they dined on turkey chili and chicken salad. a source tells cnn there was no talk of a possible role for romney in the obama administration. the supreme court may decide as early as today if it will tackle same-sex marriage. the justices will consider requests to review cases that challenge doma, the defense of marriage act, as a violation of the constitution's equal protection marriage. also on the table potentially, they're considering a challenge to prop 8, that is california's ban on same-sex marriage which voters narrowly approved back in 2008. >> this is a huge move by the court today to find out what they're going to do. an update on the health of former president george h.w. bush. he's in stable condition at a houston hospital. he was admitted a week ago and is being treated for bronchitis. his office says the former president is expected to be released in the next few days. the former president is 88 years
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old. he is now our oldest living former president. major question this morning, about the stalled middle east peace process. what happens now? the palestinian authority, they did receive a giant endorsement yesterday when the united nations general assembly voted to upgrade its status to non-member state. >> but the united states and israel strongly, strongly oppose this resolution, claiming the unilateral move is no substitute for direct negotiations with israel. cnn foreign affairs reporter elise labott has more on this developing story in washington at the united nations and the middle east. >> good morning, john. as we said the vote is really a global endorsement of the establishment of a palestinian state. and it gives the palestinians a bit of hope and a bit of dignity after so many decades of occupation that a state is actually possible. let's take a listen to what palestinian president mahmoud abbas said after the vote yesterday. >> we did not come here seeking
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to legitimize a state established years ago. and that is israel. rather, we came to affirm the legitimacy of a state that must now achieve its independence, and that is palestine. >> but the u.s. is calling it an empty gesture because it doesn't really give the palestinians what they want. anything on the ground isn't likely to change, soon. so let's take a listen to what u.s. ambassador susan rice said. she spoke a little bit about this when explaining why the u.s. voted against this measure. >> the united states agrees, strongly, today's grand pronouncement will soon fade and the palestinian people will wake up tomorrow and find that little about their lives has changed. >> so everyone's looking to see what president abbas does now. he says we'll go straight to
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negotiations. but what the u.s. is worried about is that the palestinians now have more tools to challenge israel on the international stage they could go to the criminal court over the occupation, including settlement activities and this is going to further marginalize israel. israel's threatened to withhold tax revenue and impose further restrictions on palestinian officials. and congress is threatening to withhold, as well. fear this could be more violence, and putting a lot of pressure on the parties to get back to the table and hammer out a deal. it doesn't look good right now. >> elise labott in washington. thanks for being with us this morning. other news, surveillance video may answer the $224 million question. the question, who bought the winning powerball ticket in arizona. people at this maryland gas station say the man you see in yellow walked in to check his ticket, and started freaking out. pretty natural response. they say he told them he bought
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the ticket in arizona. >> he said is this the right numbers? i said, yeah, that's the numbers, you got 'em all. >> you had the ticket in your hand? >> i should have ran, shouldn't i? >> the confirmed winner in missouri, 52-year-old mark hill bought his winning ticket at this convenience store. local media reporting he shared the news on facebook with, we are truly blessed, we were lucky winners of the powerball. >> i would have been doing a dance, he seemed pretty calm and measured and excited. but hello. that's a lot of money. seriously. she took the words of what she had to offer and lady liberty is still standing. the superstorm did set back the reintroduction to the masses. >> so our zoraida sambolin went to liberty island a month ago to take a look at her stunning touchup job. and yesterday, she went back for an exclusive look after the storm.
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>> one month after superstorm sandy's wrath, lady liberty stands tall in new york harbor. but the beacon of light is littered with debris, bricks ripped up from the ground. a boat washed up onshore at nearby ellis island, all the result of sandy. so she survived. >> yep. standing there proud and defiant. >> while the statue itself is intact the grounds suffered enough damage to force the closure of the park to the public indefinitely. the national park service is now in the midst of a massive cleanup effort, in hopes of reopening both parks sometime early next year. how high did the water go here? i mean this is totally -- >> probably here. >> before sandy hit i visited the statue of liberty for my first time. i returned yesterday, very different. as we arrived on liberty island the emergency crews filing in and not tourists, one month after sandy devastated the area, there is still plenty of work to do. now that's the story you would
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say, right? >> yeah, pretty much. >> one of the main docks to liberty island is now floating. >> this island is determined by how we can get people off. so if we lose this dock we lose one boatload, which means i have to reduce the number of people that come to visit. >> the effects of sandy aren't just structural. concession workers and ferry employees were laid off this week, due to the extended closure much both islands. so did everybody lose their jobs? >> no. no. the concessioneers, i understand, have laid off their folks for the time being. but our folks, we just sent to other parks. >> david louisinger is a superintendent of the statue of liberty. he can't help but take his work home with him. he actually lives here. how long did you live here? >> 3 1/2 years. >> just you and your wife? >> yes. >> and did you lose everything in your home? >> we lost most everything. >> the offices next door, a
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stark reminder of sandy's toll. when you look around, you compare this to your home and what you saw, how does it compare? >> it's not even close. because we are on the far corner there, we sustained so much more damage. to me, to have a job that you love, to have a job that you can come to and be so excited about every day, an honor i couldn't begin to describe. >> but the statue of liberty remains an icon of hope and promise of better days ahead. >> as sad as it is to see it in the state it's in right now, i know it's going to be better. >> it is sad looking at those pictures. >> but there's some really good news, also, that i want to share with everybody. they lost a lot of the infrastructure, particularly because it's all underground. so there's no lights there, there's no water, and there's no heat. but, they're looking at it as an opportunity that when they build, moving forward, everything will be sustainable. that's the good news. they're very, very forward thinking. and the other bit of good news
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that i thought was really great, when lady liberty got sand blasted. when you go back and take a look at her, if you look at her belly, it's the original green color. because of those winds, they actually cleaned her off. part of her face and all of her belly. so you'll see a difference there. and, you know, the volunteer effort that has gone into this. people have just huddled together to make sure that she still shines. so the beacon still shines, because of the volunteer effort to make sure that that would not stop. i think about three days it went without shining. but that effort, you know -- it's sweet. sweet ending to that. >> zoraida sambolin, exclusive first look in the media. thanks so much. all right, 14 minutes after the hour. and literally laughing in the white house negotiator's face. so is there any hope of a compromise over the fiscal cliff. we're talking to the newly re-elected minority whip steny hoyer coming up next. ♪
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17 minutes past the hour here on a friday. well, the white house plan to avoid the fiscal cliff to congressional leaders, and republicans, laughed in their faces. literally in the case of mitch mcconnell. >> the plan calls for $1.6 trillion in new tax revenues, $400 billion in cuts to medicare and other entitlements, $50 billion for a new stimulus, and republicans really didn't like this one, congress would have to give up control over raising the debt limit. we want to bring in now the recently re-elected house minority whip maryland congressman steny hoyer, democrat from maryland. nice to see you this morning. congratulations on the re-election. >> good morning, and thank you. >> so earlier this week we had tom foley republican offer a compromise on the position here. you had many republicans, several coming forward and saying there is a way out here, we are willing to give a little bit on taxes.
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you had wall street optimistic that there was an aura of compromise here. and then this is the plan that the white house puts forward. in some ways, moving the ball even further away from what the republicans were asking for here. is this going to get the compromise? >> look, first of all, want to understand that everybody believes we ought not to go off the cliff. sequester is not a good idea. and if we went off the cliff it would have substantial adverse effects on the economy. nobody wants to go over the cliff. including, in my opinion, john boehner. however, we ought not to hold hostage middle-class tax cuts, and that's what you're talking about, tom cole, that wasn't a question of compromise, it was simply to say, look, we all agree that middle-class tax rates ought not to get a tax increase on january 1st. not good for them. not good for the economy. we'll pass that. the senate's passed a bipartisan bill that called for that. tom cole the former chairman of the republican campaign committee in the house of representatives said just
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earlier this week we'll all pass that. i agree with him. secondly, the republicans have agreed that we need to have some sort of balance, more and more republicans are saying we need to have revenues. you cannot do it simply with cutting spending. thirdly, i don't think that anybody wants to hurt the vulnerable in america. >> no, i think -- but the question, the question here is, is on the issue of taxes for instance. the president proposed tax cuts -- i'm sorry tax increases that went beyond what they discussed before. raising the rate which would amount to $960 billion, then an additional $600 billion in tax increases that would go on the 2%. on the issues of spending, cuts, $400 billion in medicare and other entitlement savings but unspecified in next year not the specifics and not the amounts the republicans were looking for. again, $50 new billion in stimulus spending. again, where is the compromise here? >> well, first of all, the compromise, we have already cut
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$1.7 trillion of spending. that seems to be forgotten. we cut it in the budget control act. >> that's done. water's gone, done, finished. where's the future? >> look. that's not right. you've done it. you pocket it. now you want something more. the administration is saying, look, this is what we have done. this is what we've agreed to. we have election. we had an election and the president said we needed more revenues, and we needed more revenues from those most able to pay. he won the election. the american people expanded the majority in the senate and expanded the number of members we have. we have an election, that were two very distinct points of view put forward to the american public. that is that we needed more revenues, the wealthier needed to make a greater contribution, and the other side said no, that's not the case. obviously the american public made a judgment. >> congressman hoyer, let me -- let me -- >> -- president has agreed --
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>> because i think americans are smart. i think they realize what's happening. >> they are smart. >> they realize what's happening in front of the cameras and they realize oftentimes there's another story right behind closed doors and i saw this quote this morning that jumped out at me. a fellow democrat from new jersey, congressman rob andrews. this is what he told politico. quote, there is the public choreography, and then there is the real choreography. to reach a deal it has to look like there was a lot of fighting before the deal was reached. i mean, sir, americans know what you're doing. this is one of the reasons why americans hate politics. right? what's your message to america? >> americans hate politics because we have pretense. you're right on that. the pretense is that somehow you can magically do this. speaker boehner said the other day that he thinks things have a cost. they do have a cost. but speaker boehner voted to cut taxes deeply, revenues, but didn't cut spending. >> but all of this back and forth, one side versus the other, why can't we put the pretense away and just hit it
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and quit it and you can go on vacation? >> you betcha. we're prepared to do that. the president's prepared to do that. now has the president offered a plan? he has. that's what they said they wanted. let's see their plan. let's see if it adds up. bill clinton made it very clear the arithmetic they're using doesn't add up. they know that we're not going to do certain things. we know they're not going to do certain things. but you cannot get there without a balanced plan. we understand that. you need cuts in spending. you need to deal with entitlements and you also need revenues. let's be real. i don't think, frankly, mr. boehner, and what he said, absolutely no increase in rates. you want to do it by cutting preference items. but he hasn't come up with his list of preference items. the reason he hasn't come up with his list of preference items is because he knows he can't get the votes to do it. and frankly, he doesn't politically want to propose it. let's see -- >> perhaps this is the starting point. we're here. we'll get there. >> congressman hoyer thank you for joining us. >> thank you, sir.
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>> let's be real. >> thanks, congressman. still ahead this morning here on "starting point" 23 minutes past the hour. bonuses for shutting down hostess. why executives are raking in the money next. ans believe they shoe in charge of their own future. how they'll live tomorrow. for more than 116 years, ameriprise financial has worked for their clients' futures. helping millions of americans retire on their terms. when they want. where they want. doing what they want. ameriprise. the strength of a leader in retirement planning. the heart of 10,000 advisors working with you one-to-one. together for your future. ♪ i have a cold... i took dayquil, but i still have a runny nose. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't work on runny noses. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have an antihistamine. really? [ male announcer ] really. alka-seltzer plus cold and cough fights your worst cold symptoms, plus has a fast acting antihistamine to relieve your runny nose. [ sighs ] thank you! [ male announcer ] you're welcome.
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good morning, i'm christine romans. u.s. stock futures, they're up slightly this morning. we've got a lot of worries about the fiscal cliff. which is more like a fiscal tip in washington right now. markets finished up a bit yesterday but they had come off the day's highs because of comments from house speaker john boehner about the fiscal cliff negotiations. i think he said you guys got to get serious.
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pretty serious about his criticism of the white house. bonuses for executives shutting down hostess. that's right. a u.s. bankruptcy judge approved $1.75 million in incentive bonuses yesterday for 19 hostess bosses, as they unwind the company. the maker of beloved american staples like twinkies, wonder bread, ding dongs, ho-hoes, closed its doors earlier this month after its bakers union went on strike over reduced pay and benefits, and you'll recall the company went to a judge and said we're going to shut down. so they are. executives will get bonuses as they finish the job of closing down the company. >> a long time in the making, right? >> it could be they survived the great depression but couldn't survive the great recession and a couple attempts at bankruptcy, and that's it. so we'll see. maybe the brands will exist if another company hires them. >> ahead on "starting point" not a good sign when your big negotiator for the fiscal cliff literally gets laughed at. what's the next move for the obama administration?
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welcome back to "starting point." soledad is off today on this friday. called the fiscal split or the fiscal cliff because president obama's plan to avoid the fiscal cliff is not exactly flying with republicans. 32 days now count with me 32 tax rates soar, spending cuts automatically kick in and keep in mind there is a date that we're watching also before this, congress break for the holidays in all of 14 days. >> so to review the president's plan calls for $1.6 trillion in tax hikes, $50 billion in new stimulus spending, and $400
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billion in unspecified cuts. the president for himself he's heading to a manufacturing plant in pennsylvania today to try to sell that idea. house speaker john boehner's reaction was essentially, get serious. so we want to talk about the numbers behind this. we're going to bring in ken rogoff, professor of economics and public policy at harvard university. you heard the specifics of the plan, $1.6 trillion in new taxes, $400 billion in unspecified cuts, $50 billion in new stimulus. how does this sound to you? >> well, it certainly sounds like a plan. and i do think we have to see some mix of higher revenues starting now and frankly going on into the future, and some mix of spending cuts. but at the same time there are things like infrastructure investment that we need. things like, you know, doing things for the states that are in trouble. so, it's, you know, it's very tax -- it's tactic, obviously, that they're gaming >> are you okay with the mix here? all republicans are saying the
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spending cuts are not structural to medicare, he wants to see structural cults to entitlements here. >> clearly entitlements is the big, looming problem. it is a long-term problem. every year. it's likely to get worse as we age. medical care costs go up. that's the big problem. so it would be nice to start a conversation about entitlements here, to see something, and frankly, even the middle class is going to end up paying more taxes over time. and i think the republicans would like to see a conversation at least starting, no entitlements, we can't touch entitlements, that's just absurd. that has to come. >> obviously republicans went out with it's four times as much spending as revenue in this plan. we'll call it the starting point plan. do you think that's fair? >> i think the wealthy has to pay more in taxes, there's no doubt about that. that's not the end of the rope. that's just going to be a little piece.
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but until you do that you can't get to the big part whereas eventually we do need to see the middle class paying more. we need to see entitlements cut. and until people feel it's fair, and they're nowhere near feeling it's fair, that's not going to happen. >> i would say to you good luck, sir, if you're going to try to sell a middle-class tax increase to the american people. i don't think that's going -- >> the middle-class is already paying higher taxes. if you live in a state where budget cuts have hurt you're paying more for the things you usually use. you're paying more for your garbage service, more for your property taxes. the bottom line is america can't afford itself the way we're going. the middle class, everyone, will pay more in taxes. and everyone will get fewer services. is that -- that's the only way it's going to happen? >> if we don't have growth magically somehow and not just the kind of growth that a temporary tax cut is going to produce, but organic growth that just makes us boom for 0 years. we don't have that. energy is great we have a lot of good things and there are things that can help us.
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it's hard to predict. we can product if that doesn't happen, growth of entitlements just gets worse and worse and something has to give. >> so here you are, you know, perched as professor in beautiful cambridge, massachusetts -- >> it's dark at the moment. >> because of the power outages. nonetheless you're watching this dance, we were just talking to congressman hoyer and he himself said let's get real. there are very real consequences here. we looked at the gdp position yesterday, third quarter was better than anticipated, housing has been up as christine's reported. so those are all great signs thus far but if this thing doesn't work out, it's frightening. >> that's exactly right. i mean it's already hurting the fourth quarter number, and it's going to look worse. businesses don't know what's going to happen. if you were thinking of doing an investment, why would you do it now until you see what's going to happen? there seems like so much positioning here that it's awfully tempting to think, you know, let's just push this to the next year, see what happens. and we get into the next year, it starts, and i worry we're
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going to hit the debt ceiling eventually again. that's the real catastrophe. >> there's no question on the debt ceiling one of the things the president has proposed is taking the debt ceiling discuss away from congress. essentially saying that congress can no longer say you can't raise the debt ceiling. that's something the executives will do. >> it's pretty tempting. i mean if queer going to be doing thisserry year or two we can't run our business that way. this is a fight for power between the house and the president. this isn't just this one-time thing over the spending. and i don't think they're going to give that in but we have to have a different way of doing business. maybe not automatic, but not where it's automatic that we have a debt ceiling fight every year. >> not hitting the debt ceiling and having to raise it over and over again. we do it. i mean we do it. would you see a day when we're not fighting over spending more money, where we can get it balanced? >> what's sort of irritating from outside, is that they pass these bills, all year long. we're going to spend this. we're going to tax this. and then they want at midnight
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to renegotiate everything, make every decision all at once. once in awhile having a crisis. but it looks like it's become regularly built-into the system and that's just no way to do this. we've got to fix that. >> ken rogoff, professor economics and policy at harvard. dark, cambridge, forgive me. >> great to see you this morning. should the united states provide arms to syrian rebels trying to oust the assad regime? secretary of state hillary clinton says there's no decision yet but the question is evaluated every day, depending on the changing situation in syria. meanwhile, reports that the internet in syria has been cut off. it could be the latest move by the embattled regime against rebel forces which have successfully used the internet to keep the outside world informed of the uprising. >> settlement reportedly has been reached between dominique strauss-kahn and the new york city hotel maid who sued him alleging sexual assault. details of the agreement have not been made public.
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the former head of the international monetary fund, the imf, still faces aggravated tipping charges in france for his alleged role in a prostitution ring. out of nowhere, the earth collapsed, a giant sinkhole has developed near dover, ohio. that's south of cleveland. taking a two-lane highway with it. take a look at this. luckily, no one's been hurt. joe biden, bulking up, at costco of all places. the vice president was on hand for the grand opening of the first mammoth warehouse store in d.c. it was meant to promote job growth, checked out a watch, kid's books. perhaps that's a rose for the wife. left with a flat screen and ate up a couple of free samples. you could take a spin around costco and it's full. >> my kids love the samples. apparently the vice president does, too. >> a big clue to who bought the winning powerball ticket in arizona. this may come from surveillance
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video out of maryland. people at this gas station say this man in yellow walked in to check his ticket -- watch closely. that's the dance of a winner. yes apparently freaked out saying, i won, i won. also the sign, perhaps, he told them he bought the ticket in arizona. >> meantime in missouri. we know that 62-year-old mark hill is the lucky guy. he bought his ticket at a trex mart store. jenna from kshb in the home town of dearborn, missouri, population 500. >> the missouri lottery is set to officially announce the winners of this multimillion dollar powerball jackpot. that's going to happen right here at north platte high school here at 11:00. this town, dearborn, missouri, it's a small town about 500 people. so word definitely travels fast. we're learning that the winners this morning are cindy and mark hill. they have lived in this community for several years. they have several kids here in this community. in fact they just adopted a
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daughter. now, dearborn, missouri, is about an hour north of kansas city. so it's in between kansas city and saint joseph. mark hill, he works at saint joe's during the night. and his wife actually had a job interview yesterday that she ditched out on. understandably, because she won the lottery. and just to put this in perspective for you guys. the town of dearborn, missouri. their annual budget is about $800,000 to $900,000. so that means essentially with this money they could pay the town's bills for the next century. that's a lot of money. reporting here in dearborn, missouri. >> they could even rent the town for like 00 years. >> job interview? know need for that anymore. still ahead on "starting point," a first glimpse of next year's hot new cars, new electrics, and hybrids, and favorites getting a makeover. we'll take you live to the l.a. auto show. >> and the album that changed the music business and made michael jackson a superstar.
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"thriller" released on this date 30 years ago. of course the highest selling album ever.
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it is our first glimpse of the latest in cars. the los angeles auto show kicks off today. we're going to see some familiar models like the toyota rav-4 and the ford fiesta. they get a makeover. there's also a new crop of electric and hybrids. they're going to be highlighted there. >> okay. the rav-4. casey wian is live in los angeles for a preview this morning. take us on a spin around. >> well, you were talking about
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that rav-4. they're introducing it at the los angeles auto show. the redesigned rav-4. i'm standing right here in front of one. you can see it's got slick, new styling. it's also got a new suspension system that allows the driver when it's in an all-wheel drive version of this car to select what kind of driving they are doing, whether up hills or sharp cornering and adjust the suspension that way. one of the other things we're seeing a lot at the auto show this year, downloadable apps for your car. this toyota e-2 system allows you to use your wireless phone connection to download applications in your car. all this new technology, you might wonder, what about the upcoming fiscal cliff that people are talking about? what about the danger of another recession, an economic slowdown? automakers are saying that they are prepared for that because they've got a better mix of cars this time. and they are pushing full bore ahead with new technology. we spoke with sprint, which is
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introducing a package to automakers that will actually turn your car into a wireless hot spot. enabling passengers to surf the internet. enabling you if your teenager is driving the car to make sure no one is texting while they're driving. they're going full steam ahead. let's listen. >> so imagine, if you will, you're driving the family to the summer vacation home. right? your wife could be paying bills via her laptop or tablet in the front seat. your kids could be youtubing or facebooking in the back seat, downloading a movie off netflix. everyone is happy including the driver not having to stop every 15 minutes to go to the bathroom. the kids are focused on what they want to do so the entire consumer experience in the vehicle is enhanced. >> and it's not all about practicality. new technology. there's some old favorites that are being updated right here. you see the brand-new convertible vw beetle. redesigned over the years.
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this one, new for 2013. >> ooh, i like that. i like that casey wian. thank you so much. i can see you in that rav-4 with the twins. >> casey, thank you so much. still ahead here this morning on "starting point," bringing art to urban youth. why brothers russell and danny simmons are so passionate about the case. they will be here with us next. [ gordon ] for some this line is a convenience. how you doing today? i'm good thanks. how are you? i'm good. [ gordon ] but for others, it's all they can afford. every day nearly nine million older americans don't have enough to eat. anything else? no, not today. join me, aarp, and aarp foundation in the drive to end hunger by visiting drivetoendhunger.org.
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it is the hottest, hippest art show in the country. means i'm not inviting. and 20 artists will compete in miami for a chance to show their art in new york. it's all part of a larger organization bringing art to urban youth, run by -- >> the man we're about to introduce you to, who co-founded this foundation back in '95 with a bunch of his brothers. rush philanthropic arts foundation funded by art and danny simmons. danny is running a little bit late. he will join us later. >> my brothers are danny simmons
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and joseph reverend ron simmons. whoa got together and started the foundation because whoa saw the schools -- maybe 15 years now. we saw that the schools weren't doing a good job. kid need to exercise their creative muscles. and that's why we founded the foundation and also to serve underserved communityies regarding creative artists to give them two galleries to let them show. >> in chelsi and brooklyn. do the kids have a chance to link up with the artist downs there? >> we have artists that come and mentor and teach in various different subjects, fine art, poetry, whatever it is that allows freedom for children. and they need it, you know. everybody needs it, in fact. >> i was on the foundation website, watching this young
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woman who is now going off to college and is excited to be in mixed arts or multimedia in college. she was inspired and given this confidence because of this foundation. >> the kids range from young people who just need a chance to express themselves and that make them better scholastically in other ways to artists that become great, popular artists, fine artists who are popular. a big star. there are a number of stars who have come from our foundation because, as i said, emerging artists of color and underserved communities have gotten a chance to show in our galleries and some of them have become quite famous. it's a mixture. it's something we've been doing, as i told you, for 15 years and something that the more we do it, the more we recognize that our school systems are closing down their art programs, you know. i don't know that they realize that societies need to promote creativity amongst youth if they want to flourish in the future. >> your brother, who is actually
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walking into the studio right now -- >> here he is. >> he is an artist. i'm going to give you a free shot here. what's it like to work with your brother? >> it's a pleasure. >> always? >> always. him being a bit late -- >> hey, danny, have a seat at the table. >> i can have a seat at this table? i always wanted to have a seat at this table. >> we've been talking to your brother, who has been mostly nice. >> soledad is a board member -- not a board member but great supporter. so he was expecting to see soledad. >> i knew they were here. >> did you watch them yesterday? >> i watch them every morning. >> thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> tell us about this contest you are running with mombay sapphire. >> we've been running this since 2010. it's a national contest actually. we canvas nine cities around the country. each city has a gallery. from that city those people submit and then they are chosen in that city. and then the winners from that city all come back to new york. and we have a choosing in new
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york of the winners. and then all of them go to art basil. >> what kind of scene is it down there? >> oh, god. at art basil? >> quite the scene, isn't it? >> so much art, so many artists. it's amazing. we have a big party where we choo the winner. we added something new this year. we added five films from five cities and i'm one of the filmmakers. never made a film before but it's going to be fun. we highlight the artists. we have a big party. there's all these little festivals. you walk from booth to booth. >> i keep seeing your painting go by as well as one of the artists. >> you're an abstract expressionist. >> i don't want to look at myself on camera. >> quickly, though, you both grew up -- what was it, your
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mother painted. your father wrote poetry. it kind of makes sense. the seeds were sown early on. >> our family is highly creative. my father even wrote lyrics and russell who understands art and is able to -- >> who exploits the art. >> i didn't want to say exploits. that's what you say. >> that's gracious. that's gracious. danny, great to have you here. thank you for coming on and joining us right now. russell, you're going to stay with us on our panel during the 8:00 hour. a lot to talk about. letter to the president. we'll see you in the next hour. >> thanks for having me on. >> thanks, gentlemen. >> i'll see you. >> he a's ready to go. >> oh, kiss on the head. you can hang tight, whatever you want to do. >> okay, good. >> defending susan rice as his fellow republicans hammer away
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at her, jon huntsman explains. jooirgs
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. good morning on this friday. i'm brooke baldwin. >> and i'm john berman. soledad is off this week. our "starting point" laugh out loud. top republican literally chuckles at the white house offer on the fiscal cliff. where do we go from here?
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the man in the middle, ambassador jon huntsman, what he has to say about his party post election and why he's defending susan rice on benghazi when so many other republicans are piling it on. god deed gone viral, hero cop who bought boots for a homeless man on a cold new york city night. >> it is friday, november 30th. "starting point" begins right now. our "starting point this morning, no tangible progress here in the fiscal cliff talks. the tone is turning nasty now. 32 days until the tax rates soar, spending gets slashed and congress, guess what, they break for the holidays in two weeks. >> this is where things stand right now. the president unveiling a plan that calls for $1.6 trillion in tax hikes, hikes, and $50 billion in new -- that's right, new infrastructure spending. he will use the manufacturing plant in pennsylvania as a backdrop today to try to sell
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this plan. republicans sure aren't buying it yet. they want to hear about spending cuts. house speaker john boehner tells the president to get serious. ath athena jones is live from washington. what now, athena? >> we've heard tough talk in the past couple of days, very different from the tone we heard immediately immediately after the election when congressional leaders met with the president at the white house. the big hang up remains on one issue of tax revenues. republicans and democrats can't agree should theye bush tax cuts for the wealthiest americans, cap some deductions, close loopholes, or some combination of the above? right now they can't even seem to agree on the amount of revenue that should be raised. that $1.6 trillion figure is something that the republicans say is much bigger than had been being discussed previously.
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i can also say that republicans feel like there's just been way too much emphasis on the whole tax issue. they want to see more talk about spending cuts. the white house has on the table a plan that would have $400 billion in unspecified cuts to programs like medicare and others. but republicans say that's just not enough. they want to see them getting serious. this is where we stand right now with just a month to go. of course, that holiday break still thrown in there. it's not unusual to see some posturing and tough talk and see a deal seem to break down before it gets all put back together again but certainly some anxious times. >> these anxious times continuing perhaps all month. athena jones, thank you so much. >> we certainly have a very full table here. our panel this morning is a special panel at that. he went away. he is back. russell simmons, author of "super rich," publisher of global grind and abby huntsman,
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good to see you back at the table, host of huffpost live. and ryan lizza and one of our panelists decided to bring her dad to work this morning. i don't know if this this has ever been done before. abby's dad, ambassador jon huntsman is here. >> definite conflict of interest. i had no choice. >> welcome and good morning to all of you here. let's begin with this, the supreme court may decide as early as today if it will tackle same-sex marriage. oh, forgive me. >> we'll get to that in a second. let's start with talking about what's going on in washington. >> easy start. >> we want to talk about the gridlock. you said ambassador of your party, compromise has got to be seen as more than a treasonous
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thing. without meeting much in the middle here, you know, is this getting ugly? >> well, it always does right before you have a breakthrough. i'm an optimist. i think we're going to have a breakthrough. i think the stakes are so high in this case when you look at the numbers and potential impact in the marketplace and the prospects for a downgrade by moody's. you can imagine what that would do for everyone's savings and revertebrae rations in the economy when you're 23% of the world's gdp still. i am guessing members of congress will have a moment of clarity in the next few weeks. it doesn't look like that now but i'm guessing we'll find some sort of solution. it would be incomplete, let me tell you this, if we didn't figure some way forward on tax reform. we have a greater opportunity, phasing out loopholes, getting those deductions out of this completely compromised tax code.
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that would be a complete outcome. if we got out of this mess and left the tax code as it was, we're doing ourselves a great disservice. >> do you understand why so many americans are frustrated with politics? you see this public dance, right? this sort of back and forth and they're fighting. i don't know if it's faux fighting. behind the scenes you smile, but behind the scenes perhaps real clarity, to use your word, will eventually be reached. why do we have to go through the dance? >> well, your bringing it into our living rooms. i just came back not long ago from a country, second largest economy in the world, china, where they just had their 18th party congress. nothing was brought into the living rooms. they sort of walked out and here is your new leadership team and here is your new five-year plan. they don't do it our way. we don't do it their way. i look at both and i say i like this open, chaotic, deliberative process. it's ugly, messy. and it looks like we're on the
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precipice of disaster but both sides are heard. >> you had a quote in an article which juched out at a lot of people there talking about your fellow candidates on stage with you for a lot of the debates. you said this. some do it professionally. some were entertains. i looked down the debate stage and half of them were probably on fox contracts at one point in their career. you do that. you write some books, you go out and you sell some more. you get a radio gig or tvg gig out of it and it's like the barriers of entry of this game are pretty damn low. >> i'm not demeaning or begrudging anybody. i throw myself into that same group. i'm saying you stand on that debate stage and look out at the cameras that are bringing, you know -- taking the debate out to millions of watchers. a country of 320 million people.
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great innovators, creators, leaders of higher education, great moms and dads and nobody is willing to step in the arena these days. part of what i was trying to say is i circulate and see wonderful human beings everywhere i go in this country. and no one anymore is willing to step in the arena. it's left to those who kind of do it, you know, in part because that's, you know, a way to make money perhaps. you know, little bit of entertainment value. there may not be anything else to do. where are the people who really bring something to the table that out to be stepping into the arena and running for office? >> you mean like some ideas? >> how would you change the process having gone through it so that the party could nominate the most electable person? >> i think we have some structural issues. the deliberation about the republican party we're having is a very healthy thing. if we don't wind up at the end of the exercise with a mission statement that is one sentence
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long, then we're toast. and that one statement ought to be balance the budgets and get out of people's lives. and you ought to build the party around that because we have strong libertarian roots that go back to the early days of the republican party. >> i was talking to senator ron paul and he said he is worried that the party is shrinking and he is worried about becoming a dinosaur. are you worried about becoming a dinosaur? >> if we stick to the mantra that says a right sized government, froem that's always going to be right for people. but we drift in areas where we take on special -- fringe issues and it gets us stuck in these alleyways of life that take our focus away from what is really important for the american people. and that is individual freedom and getting the budgets balanced so people can get on with their lives. >> it is bring your daddy to workday. i just want to make sure -- bring daddy to workday, of
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course. we talk so much about the middle east endlessly, it seems. as we should. there's so much going on there. but as it relates to foreign policy, what would you say is our greatest challenge to move forward that no one is talking about? >> well, so what did the two most important people in this country sit down and talk about yesterday at lunch? when everything else is done and the election is wrapped up, it isn't about social issues. it isn't about the fringe issues. they sat down together and talked about america's leadership in the world. so at the end of the day, that's what matters most to republicans and to democrats. how do you get to where we need to be? it's going to be about economics. it's going to be about education. it's going to be about rounding out tax policies that serve our free market economy. and we're not there yet. but it was interesting when i read, you know, the news coming out of yesterday's lunch. at the end of the day, what is it we care most about? republicans, democrats, sit down and break bread. >> two things. first, ambassador, this idea
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that the corporations control our government destroys our democracy. and that's something i think republicans have to -- the progressive congress really likes this idea of getting money separate from politics. special interests and corporations have too much control and disempower everybody in the middle class. in fact, all americans -- there's a huge disservice done by this investment in buying politicians. that legal bribery should stop. secondly, i want to speak to you about what you said about leadership around the world. palestinians getting this u.n. win, i think it's important we take leadership there. there is a saudi arabian peace plan that's ten years old that most people -- i spoke to the imams and the rabbis in israel and the chief imam or grand mufti and chief rabbi think that's a great place to start. if the religious leaders think it's okay, why can't leadership go to work and create some kind
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of a shift? i mean, it's time now for america to take leadership in that area, you know, whether it's susan rice or you, whoever becomes the secretary -- someone has to go. >> did i say that? i didn't mean to say that. >> thank you, russell simmons. >> that's a funny conversation. it's somewhat analagous to the fiscal cliff. the solutions are staring us right in the face. they're on the table for congress. now it's a people's game. it's the politics that stand in the way. and getting a two-state solution, which we need, that will, i thenk, address a lot of the concern in the middle east. >> saudi peace plan is supported by many arab countries. to have that plan -- and it's one that's acceptable to both parties, at least both religious leaders, it's a place to start. without dialogue, they'll never solve that problem.
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>> we want to get you on the record on a couple of things quickly here. >> susan rice. >> susan rice, you said you have not been happy with the republicans on capitol hill for how they've treated susan rice. explain. >> to be honest, i didn't say anything about susan rice. what i'm saying about the benghazi incident is let's lower the politics. let's let the experts collect the information. you had a consulate in benghazi relatively new, stood up probably a little over a year before the incident. you had another an ex-down the road run by another agency. you had differing views, apparently, on security. sometimes there are attacks you just can't do anything about. when you start lobbying mortars, for example, into a facility. then call up the secretary of state, call up the director of the cia, get together with the relevant congressional oversight
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committee and say what happened, how do we fix it? let's make sure we can go better and not lose diplomats. >> if for some reason you did get another phone call -- you have gotten one before from the president of the united states, saying he would like you to serve as secretary of state. >> would you do it? >> i don't play the hypothetical game. we have moved on. my history has always spoken to putting my country first. and if i didn't, my two sons at the u.s. naval academy would never forgive me. the president will choose who he wa wants. and it serves no purpose playing the speculation game. >> that's interesting, who would you recommend for that sort of position? >> if you were obama, who would you pick? >> final question. >> it does no good to play the
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name game. >> you can dodge my question but not abby's. >> let's say this about the future. the future isn't afghanistan or iraq but how well prepared we are to meet the 21st century challenges of competitiveness. that will be economics, education. it will play out over the pacific ocean. why was it that the president and governor romney sat at lunch and talked about america's global leadership? >> ambassador huntsman, you're welcome to stay with us the whole show. we would love to have the father and daughter team around. >> i can't compete with abby or marianne or libby, any of my daughters. i'm not even close to their league. >> thanks, dad. >> we'll hang on to your daughter the rest of the hour if that's okay with you. random act of kindness that quickly went viral thanks to one single photo. we will have the police officer
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it was a random act of kindness that touched the entire nation when officer larry deprimo bought this homeless shoeless man a pair of boots. he didn't think it was a big deal at the time. >> when the nypd posted this single photograph online it got 30,000 comments. how wonderful. an officer and a gentleman. another one, you made your mother proud, young man. and another one, the officer deserves a medal. joining us here at the table, officer larry deprimo. good morning. >> good morning. >> we've all been talking about this story since it was in the paper. cop bought homeless guy shoes. heart and sole. why did you do it? there are many homeless people on the streets of new york.
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many cold nights. why this man? >> biggest two things that night, it was extremely cold out and this gentleman didn't even have a pair of socks on. and you could see the blisters from like 10, 15 feet away. >> how bad were they? >> probably about the size of my palm. and i don't know how he wasn't in pain. but he wasn't bothering anybody. just walking, you know. he had his own agenda. he was a gentleman when i had spoken to him. and i knew i had to help him. >> have you ever done this before? >> i mean, as a police officer, you do things like this all the time. and i think that's what a lot of people haven't really noticed but are starting to notice, which is great. but nothing that's ever gotten this much attention. >> as a police officer in new york, how are you trained to deal with the homeless population? how are you trained to deal with that problem? you are on the the street and see it all the time. >> it depends where you are. obviously, there's -- there may be homeless issues in certain areas. we have a lot of procedures.
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fortunately if they don't want to be helped there's nothing we can do unless we feel it's severe to their health. we have to step in, can call the homeless shelter and get them off the street. >> jennifer foster, the woman who actually took the photograph. are you with us? good morning. >> i am. good morning. >> so you're the one, you were a tourist from arizona in the city in times square. why did you pull out your camera and do this? >> it was actually on my cell phone. and i only had it with me because i was walking toward this gentleman that officer deprimo was helping and i didn't realize that he was going to also assist him. and i was about to hand him some money, because he had been asking for change. >> and you did this not just because you were, you know -- you wanted to take this photograph but you have a back story of a father in law
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enforcement who did something similar? >> eye dii d i remember 8 or 10 old and watching my dad go into a donut shop, walk back out and bend down in exactly the same way that mr. deprimo did and hand this gentleman breakfast, shook his hand and walk away. in the same way, as larry wanted nothing of it, no attention, no anything. and i know that these things do happen all over the country with law enforcement all of the time. i still recognize it as remarkable and thought if nothing else i needed officer deprimo's supervisor to know that he had done this. >> you can actually see the blisters on his feet in that photo. were you surprised at just how viral the photo went and the impact, the message it sent to the rest of the country? >> absolutely. when it first came out i had no idea. one of my friends sent a picture, texted me. i didn't expect it. i didn't think anybody was around at the time. i asked him what had happened.
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how did you get this picture? he said it's on the internet. it blew up. to see some of the comments people are making is touching. i thank everybody for it. >> what was the man's reaction when you gave him the boots? >> he was extremely thankful. he had a smile from ear to ear, which is something i'll never forget. and he said, thank you, officer. he's like, god bless you and be safe out there. he kept on going on his way. i asked him if he wanted to get a cup of coffee and food but he didn't want to and he just kept on going. >> does anyone know where he is? >> a few people have tried to find him. i hope we do. i would like to speak to him. but, unfortunately, i haven't seen him since. i would like to see him. >> the boots cost $75. i heard you say that. >> the boots were $100 originally. but you don't think about the money. as i said you could see the gentleman's feet in the picture. just as another human being -- >> you carry the receipt with you now? >> i do when it's in my bull
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bulletproof vest. >> why is that? >> keep it on me to basically remind me that some people have it worse. if you're having a tough day you look at something like this and you have a great reminder that maybe some things aren't so bad. >> i think we all have that reminder after seeing this picture. >> thank you for sharing your photo, too, jennifer, by the way. it's amazing. absolutely amazing. still ahead on "starting point," one of the winners of the powerball jackpot is out. and the other may not be so much of a mystery anymore thanks to some surveillance tape.
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this just in to cnn. you're looking at live pictures from new jersey where emergency crews are on the scene of a freight train derailment at the marine terminal coming to us from kyw. hazardous crews material is on the scene. they're looking now for a possible propane leak. u.s. coast guard has been notified. they're worried that the chemical might be leaking into the nearby delaware river. number of people in the area have been evacuated. we have no idea on the number yet and no reports that anyone is hurt. we will have more developments on this as they come up. >> keep an eye on that. >> meantime, christine romans has today's business news. good morning. >> futures up slightly this morning. we're still worried about the fiscal cliff.
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this is touch and go here. markets finished up a little bit yesterday. but they came off the day's highs after downbeat comments from house speaker john boehner on ongoing fiscal cliff negotiations, which are more of a tiff than a solution at this point. new mortgage rate numbers for you still near historic lows. 3.32%. everyone is shaking their head on the table. 2.64% for a 15-year fixed. now, interestingly is the cherished mortgage deduction on the table in the fiscal cliff talks? they are fighting hard to make sure that deduction doesn't go away. they say getting rid of it for any level of earners would hit the home sales just as they are
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coming back. who benefits the most? households earning more than $250,000 a year. average $5,500. for those making less than $40 it was only a $91 benefit. what will happen to america's favorite tax break? still big unknown in these fiscal talks. >> you have to believe it will not last 14 months the way it is. >> if you are on the coast and chicago, it is high. home priced areas. people are very worried that's going to go away. when you look at the numbers -- >> all this talk about getting rid of these popular deductions. >> it's going to be hard. >> it's going to be hard. >> lizza is checking his mortgage right now. bashing fox news during an interview, opening a whole new debate on what's fair and when. >> our guests, howard kurtz and lauren ashburn weigh in next. ♪
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violation of the constitution's equal protection. houston hospital this morning, being treated for bronchitis. he was admitted a week ago and is said to be stable. his office says the former president is expected to be released in the next couple of days. mr. bush is 88 years old. he is the oldest living former president. so turkey, chili, grilled chicken salad but no job offer. this san advertised photo of mitt romney and president obama shaking hands during the luncheon meeting, former rivals promising to stay in touch after discussing ideas on how to keep
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america competitive. palestinian authority to nonmember state. palestinians in the west bank celebrated but the u.s., israel strongly disagree with this and say israelis and palestinians need direct negotiations for a two-state solution. surveillance video may answer the $294 million question, who bought the winning ticket in arizona? >> watch this part. >> the man you see in yellow right there, see? they think he's dancing because he won. he checked his ticket number, started freaking out. they say he told them he bought the ticket in arizona. >> we kind of decided that the dance would be bigger if you were winning that much money, right? >> $290 million dance is more than that. >> more of a shuffle at a convenience store. pulitzer prize winning tom
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ricks, interview was cut short of something like 90 seconds after he criticized the network's coverage of the benghazi consulate attack. >> four people dead, including the first u.s. ambassador in more than 30 years, how do you call that hype? >> how many security contractors died in iraq, do you know? >> i don't. >> no. nobody does, because nobody cared. i think that the emphasis on benghazi has been extremely political partly because fox was operating as a wing of the republican party. >> all right. tom ricks, thanks very much for join i joining us today. >> you're welcome. >> so that was the end. the sbrou lasted less than 90 sends and it started this dialogue on whether it's acceptable for news guests to criticize the network they're appearing on and how the host should respond. we have some very well behaved guests, so far at least. >> we got our eyes on you. >> howard kurtz, washington
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bureau chief for newsweek and the daily beast and lauren ash burn, editor in chief of daily download and daily beast contributor. >> if you go on fox news and have the tumerity to criticize fox news you get the hook. adios. this has been a pr debacle for fox. >> it's their right to do it. it's their air, howie. >> nobody is disputing the right of a network to kick off anybody that they want. >> msnbc did the exact same thing when tam ron hall was attacked. >> she wasn't attacked. it was a question of a guest raising -- challenging the coverage. >> we have that clip. >> oh, we have that clip. >> bring me back all the time. >> but you're russell simmons. >> every time i go on, i don't believe a thing anyone says and they're all friends but they let me criticize them all day. >> let's watch msnbc. >> take a look. >> what you're doing here is a typical media trick.
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you hype up the story and then you justify the second day coverage of the story by saying, oh, well, people are talking about it. here is how romney responded to it. >> you don't have to answer a with single question i ask you. just the handling of questions beyond the economy. if you're not comfortable talking about that, i am a-okay but you're not going to come on and insult me and insult the network when you knew what you were going to talk about. done. let me talk to jimmy. i'm done. yes, i am. jimmy, let me go to you. >> she's on to jimmy here. >> she's done. next. >> he didn't insult her. he challenged the network's coverage. >> she took it personally. >> news organizations love to point fingers at everybody else. the guest comes on and challenges the premise, the setup, the way they're selling the story and it's okay to get the boot. >> two individuals, i don't believe that's the stance of either network. msnbc has people on criticizing them all the time and fox. that's my opinion. >> shouldn't that mean something? shouldn't that mean that their guests can come on and disagree
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and point out facts that -- actually, they should be doing it because it is better for them. as howie said, this is a pr debacle for them right now. if they had allowed it to happen it wouldn't be this big of a deal. on the other side of that, they're certainly getting a lot of publicity. >> you talked to tom ricks, right? he is trying to sell a book. it worked. we're talking about it, right? isn't this great shock value for him? >> i'm not saying that tom ricks wasn't trying to be provocative. obviously attention is good when you're an author, peddling a book. what did he do? questioned whether fox news channel is relentlessly hyping and framing as a scandal the administration's handling of benghazi. john scott the anchor, fox told me it's not his style to have that kind of back and forth, could have had a great debate and said, wait a second, the rest of the media are undercovering it. >> don't know how to speak up and respond to criticism.
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i think if they're right wing journalists and that's their job and people know them for that and that's what the network has a reputation for, then when someone comes on and argues their points, they should be happy to do it. o'reilly, i get in fights with him all the time and we even yell. >> let me read the fox news response here. he writes when mr. ricks ignored the anchor's question, it became clear that the goal was to bring attention to himself and his book. he apologized in our office acid but doesn't have the strength of character to do that publicly. >> by the way, tom ricks said he never apologized. there's a dispute over that. why should fox be able to just dismiss them? >> why shouldn't they? don't you think this is good for their ratings, too? a spirited debate might have been good for the ratings and for actually understanding an issue, but it's all theaterics at some point. >> don't we give all the power
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to the networks to control this? >> we have enormous power. >> let's all bow down. >> there is a different way of going about doing this. we at cnn -- i sit here with soledad during the show every day. and other great anchors here. they face criticism all the time and handle it vastly differently. >> you want to keep the conversation going, right? even if someone starts getting frustrated with you. >> let's play this clip. >> we all know the clip. >> with john sununu. >> stick it on your forehead when you do this. >> you know, let me tell you something. there is independent analysis that details what this is about. >> no, there isn't. >> yes, there is. yes, there is. >> no, there's democratic analysis. >> let me finish. >> there's democratic analysis. >> there's independent analysis. name calling to me and somehow act i acting as if by repeating a number of $716 billion that you can make that stick when that figure is being stolen from medicare, that is not true.
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you can't just -- >> it's a reduction in spending. >> the point here is, believe it or not, the sbrou went on for a long time after this and sununu has come back on our air. >> holding politicians and people accountable. i think that's what the american people want to see. >> in fairness, tom ricks is one of the best journalists out there. that clip is a little bit different. that's a dispute between soledad and sununu over the facts surrounding medicare. >> wait a minute. >> what ricks was doing -- >> on as a romney supporter. is he said you have an obama sticker on your forehead. she could have said i'm so insulted. >> was the anchor worried about the powers of be at fox -- >> the anchor makes the call. nobody is in their ear saying cut, cut, get away. did you see how fast it happened? okay. thank you very much. >> you do have the power. >> he reads a lot of monitors and he couldn't respond to the man.
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i'm sorry. i didn't mean that. i mean he didn't have a response. so he got rid of the guy. >> we can't cut any of you off if we try. >> i know. >> done. ahead on "starting point." >> we're not done. we're not done. >> thanks howard and lauren. fascinating discussion. still ahead on "starting point," awaiting trial for murder. why is george zimmerman signing autographs? why? with the spark cash card from capital one, sven's home security gets the most rewards of any small business credit card! how does this thing work? oh, i like it! [ garth ] sven's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! woo-hoo!!! so that's ten security gators, right? put them on my spark card! why settle for less? testing hot tar... great businesses deserve the most rewards! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet? here's your invoice. who have used androgel 1%,
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we do have some more details on that freight train derailment in paulsbro, new jersey. a bridge collapsed sending possibly four train cars into a creek and forcing residents to evacuate. coast guard now working with hazmat crews to clean up the area. the chemical is believed to be leaking into the delaware river now. no one is hurt that we know of. we'll bring you more developments as they come in this morning. george zimmerman doing some online fund-raising. you heard about this? offering a handsome -- i'm quoting. handsome autographed card for anyone who sends him cash.
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all proceeds go towards his living expenses, defense costs and lawyers. we have russell simmons here and we wanted to chat with you not just about your foundation and arts but this, the open letter to the president that you wrote recently. >> i waited two years to write that. >> why did you wait two years and why did you write it? >> during the election cycle i didn't want to create any rifts. i wanted the president to be elected. many legacy issues for him that i wanted to get to, that he could be more upfront about. and so -- like the protection we're asking for now regarding the budget is one thing. but there are specific things the black community, or communities of color fall behind. poverty initiatives really matter and make a big difference, to continue them and create new programs. but something like the prison industrial complex where ten out of 11 kids who go to jail for drugs are people of color and whites and blacks use drugs at
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the same rate or ten times more likely to go to jail for the same crime when it comes to drugs and you could have rehabilitation. but then you have this corporate investment that keeps these unjust laws on the books. the president has to address -- it's ruined the fabric of the black community specifically. >> you want the president, you say -- >> a few issues, although i'm an integrationist and i think are specific to our communities of color that he could address. >> what do you mean by this? you want the president to use his loud voice that only a president like you could have in this critical conversation with our community. >> i kind of misspoke. any president who can see this kind of unjust thing can address it. and the president should. he sees it clearly. he knows if 54 kids are shot in a weekend in beverly hills, you know, almost the size of the chicago area where 54 kids were shot in one weekend or 84 kids shot in a four-day weekend in
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chicago and it's not newsworthy. it would be newsworthy somewhere else. if it's happening in a black community it should be treated the same way. it has to do with gun control but it also has to do with what are we going to do in this emergency -- this is an emergency case. he needs to step in and the attorney general needs to step in. that's something that he could make a difference on. >> let us know if and when he responds. you mentioned violence -- totally switching gears. killing them softly. you were at the premiere with brad pitt and hobnobing. some are saying this movie is as violent as "pulp fiction"? >> it's fun. >> fun. >> no, you feel the violence, there are moments that were violent. lot of gangster stuff, fun and exciting to watch. i had a date and she thought it was violent. she was kind of uncomfortable. but i don't think -- it's an
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exciting movie. brad pitt's performance is excellent. the two of them together were brilliant. >> most of us don't get invited to the brad pitt all-star premieres. you've probably been getting invited for a while now but what's it like being at these star-studded events? >> i think he means is what is brad like. >> i go to a premiere two or three times a week. there's a lot of premieres or screenings and you get to see the movies early. >> huge on a monday. >> for all you aspiring media moguls, what you get for it is you get to see movies early. >> and free popcorn. >> russell simmons, thanks so much. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year.
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away from our annual salute to top ten cnn heroes of the year. recognition often helps our honorees do even more to help others. grandmother diane latiker, one of last year's top ten is just one example of this. anderson cooper shows how committed she is to her community. >> in chicago, homicides are up this year. on the south side and in a neighborhood called roseland, grandmother diane latiker needs to buy tombstones. >> we are over 80 behind and we're going to have to rebuild it for the tenth time.
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>> diane is fighting youth violence. she has been giving kids an alternative to violence on the streets for a decade, opening up her own home and her heart. she was honored as a top ten cnn hero last year. >> i was honored but i felt more honored to be from this community because of the people who never thought that they would see someone from roseland at that level. >> diane's organization has helped an estimated 2,000 young people. since being named top cnn hero, diane has received crucial donations, including a basketball court, computers and a van. she was even featured on an episode of abc's secret millionaire. >> all our different passions and pushed us to do different things. she's the savior of the hood in my opinion. >> right there. you know where we're at? >> yeah. >> with the death toll in chicago higher than it has been
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in years, she still continues to broeth li breathe loif ife in her struggl community. >> that's my goal, my vision, to change this whole block, grandmother from roseland can make it to cnn, anything is possible. that's what i tell these young people. ♪
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♪ ♪
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just in to us. take a look here at the wreckage. new information on this freight train derailment. these are new pictures, paulsboro, chemicals leaking